Upcoming balance stuff
So CCP recently posted a dev blog outlining the upcoming balance changes for Scylla. You can find it here: http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/balance-changes-coming-in-scylla/
The tl;dr version of it is: Ishtar nerf, Skynet kill, T3 hp nerf, med rail nerf.
First up is the Ishtar. CCP decided to split the heavy drone damage bonus and the sentry damage bonus. Giving the Ishtar a 5%/lvl damage bonus for sentries instead of a 10%/lvl. In reality this means that you go from 700 dps to 580 dps with Garde IIs for example. There is nothing here about the other problems the ishtar have such has having insane fitting space because you don't need or fit guns. Or being super hard to catch because you can either fit a oversized afterburner or many neuts in the high slots. All in all it's a good start and will def do its job to make sure the ship looks balanced on the damage dealt graphs...
After that we have the T3 Cruiser hp nerfs. Tengu is getting 5%/level of hp instead of 10% and the Proteus and Legion will get 7.5% / level. There are also some super small changes to sig resolution that most likely wont have as big of an impact. The increased buffer for the active tanked subs is really nice and I like that change a lot. It's not often we see active tanked ships used on the battlefield anymore apart from the usual ancillary tanked stuff I guess. I don't even know what to say about the passive regeneration bonus for Tengus I guess the carebears gotta have something.
I do not think this is enough at all. The Ehp to dps ratio of t3 cruisers is currently insane. They also scale incredible with links and I honestly do not think its ok for a cruiser to tank more then a battleship while having less sig then a destroyer and aligning like a destroyer. With a tiny bit of "pimp" (deadspace resistance hardeners are not even expensive these days). You'll easily hit 200k ehp and I've seen fits approach 500k ehp for a cruiser. If you want a super tanky medium weapons platform I'd rather see command ships. I also think that the loki should have gotten some ehp nerfs with the others. While the ship isn't hitting the 500k ehp of proteuses or tengus it can still get over 200k ehp. It is more of a support ship though and uses a inferior weapons platform so who knows maybe Lokis will rise or not. I will hold on with more extreme indepth shit here because ccp said they are working on reworking all the subsystems and are obviously not done.
Skynet is being removed... Oh boy I think you already knew how happy I am about this. I read the eveo forums and see the hordes of people that I see skynetting every day (CALLOUT: DARKNESS. alliance you all suck). Using a Nyx to farm havens with a Thanatos is way to much easy mode. I definitely agree with CCPs choice of removing assigning. I'm not sure removing warp drives will be a good thing though. I thought it was when we first got shown the things since right now a method of handling skynet is to trap fighters in long warps. But then I read a bit on Reddit and forums and I kinda agree with the fact that removing warping fighters remove some flavor. I would love scrams or points to stop them from warping though so you can get some kills. Or maybe that's why they got a scan res nerf because fighters fit stabs now :). I've already posted a blog post about Skynet and I am happy that ccp understood that this gameplay is not really good for the health of the game. Read more here: http://gorsking.blogspot.se/2015/02/fuck-skynet.html
For the rail nerf.The dev blog says this "rails show a pretty significant advantage in damage done over beams, arties and heavy missiles, as you can see below:"
This graph shows the popularity of the different long range weapon types in the game. You can see the fall of hmls after they got removed from the game and the rise of rails as they got buffed a bit. You might wonder why beams are not doing more damage in pvp. I also used to wonder that beams are extremely strong at the moment then I realized that there are not many good platforms that use beams and there are many ships that can overlap the range of beams using pulses + scorch. Especially at the medium sized level where it really only is the Legion, Phantasm and Absolution. Compared to say Rails who have good platforms even at t1 ship level with the Moa and Thorax. Both contributing highly to the usage and this making the weapon seem like it is doing more damage in pvp because its better when its in reality just easier to get on cheaper ships. With that said I think the rail nerf probably was a bit necessary. I will need some testing here for sure before I can yay or nay it. It definitely helps artillery a bit. A weapons class I haven't talked much about.
Medium arties could find its way back with the general t3 nerfs. Arty Lokis could be a thing. I've already flown arty Rutpures and Arty Cynabal is probably one of my favorite ships to fly at the moment. The Muninn probably still needs another mid. The problem with arties is that on the medium sized level their range isn't that great and the dps isn't that great that you want to stay far away. It is pretty badass when you one shot a approaching interceptor though :p
Let's move on to the thing that triggered me to write this blogpost and the thing I saved for the last.
The tiny text about Battleships and Battlecruisers. Let's split this up for BC and BS since both have some separate problems and some don't have anything to do in the game at the moment.
Here is the Graph CCP posted for starters.
I'll start with the battleships since I think they are the easiest to comment about. CCPs only argument for these ships being fine is currently a graph showing the damage dealt for many of these battleships. Looking at the graph we see a clear over representation of Caldari. I wonder why... Oh that's right Cruise Ravens is a actual fleet comp that nc. uses. I don't know how effective they feel it is but we have one major alliance using it as a fleet concept bumping the damage way up. There is also the little problem where a battleship does 2-3 times more damage then a cruiser. But let's not waste all the graph talk for battleships we need some for battlecruisers as well.
Battleships today are plagued by low warpspeeds and slow align. They are individually strong ships though and every battleship is able to bring a lot of dps to the field and use large weapons for some really good ranges. The warpspeed problem is mostly countered by warpspeed rigs. That's the nice part with battleships they are still going to be decently tanky and fit all the strong utility things like heavy neuts or smartbombs with one or two hyperspatial rigs increasing their warpspeed to something manageable. A great change CCP made for the battleships is the -50% cap for the mwd. It really helped diversify some battleship fits and the heavy cap injector while really good isn't that mandatory anymore and it opens up for MJDs, random ewar like painters or just straight up more tank.
Every time a battleship enters the field you have to make a lot of new tactical choices. First off you need to decide if its worth it or not to go within point range. Battleships be able to hit this far most of the time and you go into the heavy neut range something that will end bad if you stay for to long. The second choice and a bit more active one is to watch out for the MJD effect and go in for scram if you want to actually hold your target at all.
Battleships have clear weaknesses and are with few exceptions really weak to frigs. They are large and slow and easily kept down with Ewar as well. In general more agile ships and better pilots will be able to drift in and out of the dangerzone where battleships do damage to slowly take them down.
In general I think battleships are in a OK spot. Pirate battleships are actually in a great spot in some cases and I would def recommend everyone to get a Machariel they are awesome!
Battlecruisers...I don't even know where to start. Like medium autocannons I ask what is the point of these ships at the moment? Especially the combat battlecruisers. I honestly don't think a warp speed change is everything that's needed here. But let's start with that. I feel like battlecruisers don't have the luxury that battleship have with fitting warpspeed rigs at all. They neither have the fitting or can actually sacrifice two or even one rig slot.
Something that certainly didn't help was overnerfing the cane and drake. These ships were overused yes but really the drake fleets was never good. They were easy to fly and the goon perma mwd drake was a perfect example of this you basically had 1 button to push. There really was no need for CCP to remove the drake from the game along with heavy missile launchers just because a lot of people used them. Mostly because they are easy to use.
The thing battlecruisers and destroyer have over the normal ship classes is a role bonus. The destroyer have a actual useful rolebonus that helps them in combat. Battlecruisers have some shit that helps them fit links. This is a old dream that obviously doesn't work anymore. Fitting links on a bc is a relic of old we have better things now. I would really like to see something better here like a straight up damage bonus.
Something another player Prometheus Exenthal has suggested is to give battlecruisers a new special microwarp drive module that allows them to both mwd and mjd around. While this is a cool idea im not sure I like it as it will further make long points useless. And it doesn't solve the problem where battlecruisers don't actually project damage on the field or bring anything useful on the field while being super slow. I mean a Raven is faster then a Drake at the moment...
The blog ended with what they are going for next. Bombers (season 2), Supers, ECM and missiles were listed so who knows maybe we will finally see missiles actually be good or most likely just see light missiles get nerfed because they are used a lot in pvp. Apparently they want to shake up the combat meta but I don't see how any of this will change the speedy small meta.
This post probably went a bit to bitter at the end but I got triggered hard by the bs/bc stuff. I don't think I can even say how happy I am that ccp killed skynet. They have my permission to do some "bad" things to the game now :p